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COMP247 – Data Communications

2019 – S1 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Damian Jurd
Michael Johnson
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
COMP115 or ISYS114
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit introduces basic data communication concepts, theory and practice within the context of the use of communication networks in organisations. Topics include: protocols and standards, including the OSI model; network switching and routing; LAN and WAN topologies; wireless networking; network hardware, such as routers, modems, repeaters, switches and hubs; public telecommunication-based data services; the effect of telecommunications on society; the role of telecommunications within organisations; introduction to security and network management; organisational management of telecommunications; introduction to network design; and regulatory frameworks. Practical work includes basic network hardware set up and protocol performance in a specialised laboratory using dedicated switching and routing equipment. This unit does not presume any knowledge of programming nor is there any programming work in the unit.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • Enunciate the importance and the role of network protocols including why they are organised into protocol stacks and how protocol stacks function.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of IP addressing, routing and subnetting by for example computing routing outcomes and determining effective and actual IP addresses.
  • Differentiate among LAN components, and describe and, in particular instances calculate, how MAC addresses, address resolution (as implemented by protocols such as ARP) and the ethernet protocol interact.
  • Be aware of different major network technologies including wireless, backbone, wide area networks, and the Internet and, being aware of their properties, be able to evaluate different network designs.
  • Demonstrate technical networking proficiency including demonstrated ability to configure, construct, and document, and in simple cases, design networks, as well as the ability to perform traffic analysis on local area networks.
  • Be acutely aware of issues in, and have an ability to develop plans for dealing with, network security and management.

General Assessment Information

Assignments

Assignment work must be written clearly, with good grammar, correct word usage, correct punctuation,and lack of spelling errors. Poor or bad expression will be penalized, Wherever required, all written work must be properly referenced and conform to standard stylistic conventions.

Practicals

Note that while the practical material is structured against the lecture material, you need to keep in mind that there will not always be a one to one mapping between the practical exercises and the lecture topics. This is because you need some practical sessions to get acquainted to new tools and devices thereby limiting the number of practical time slots available to experiment with technologies discussed in some lectures.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Practical Workshops 10% Yes Every week
Assignment 1 15% No Week 6
Assignment 2 15% No Week 11
Module Exams 60% Yes Various

Practical Workshops

Due: Every week
Weighting: 10%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

The practical work in this unit makes up 10% of your mark. The practical work is divided up into twelve sections. Practical classes are a hurdle requirement, and, as such you will be required to perform to a satisfactory standard in at least eight of the practical classes to pass the unit. Each practical contributes 1% of your total mark for the unit, the total mark will be made by taking the total of the best 10 practical session marks.

To receive your marks you must attend the practical section and demonstrate your completion of the section to your practical supervisor. Earning the marks will require not only successful completion of the exercises, but presentation of appropriate documentation, as outlined in the question sheets. You must complete the practical session in the week it is allocated.

Practical classess will commence during week 2 of the semester. Students must be enrolled in two practical classes: Practical_1 and Practical_2.

Practical_1 will utilise specialised networking equipment located in an Engineering Laboratory whereas Practical_2 will be conducted in a regular Computing Laboratory.

The student cohort has been divided into two streams:

Students in streams 1 though 11 will attend thier Practical_1 in weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and Practical_2 in weeks 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13.

Students in streams 12 though 22 will attend thier Practical_1 in weeks 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 and Practical_2 in weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12.


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Enunciate the importance and the role of network protocols including why they are organised into protocol stacks and how protocol stacks function.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of IP addressing, routing and subnetting by for example computing routing outcomes and determining effective and actual IP addresses.
  • Differentiate among LAN components, and describe and, in particular instances calculate, how MAC addresses, address resolution (as implemented by protocols such as ARP) and the ethernet protocol interact.
  • Demonstrate technical networking proficiency including demonstrated ability to configure, construct, and document, and in simple cases, design networks, as well as the ability to perform traffic analysis on local area networks.
  • Be acutely aware of issues in, and have an ability to develop plans for dealing with, network security and management.

Assignment 1

Due: Week 6
Weighting: 15%

The first assignment tests your understanding of local area networks, routing, and IP addressing. 

Late submission of the assignment will be accepted, but penalised at the rate of 15% per day late. If you cannot submit assignments on time because of illness or other circumstances, please apply for disruption of studies.

For all assignment work you are encouraged to:

  • set your personal deadline earlier than the actual one;  
  • keep backup of all important files;  
  • make sure that no one else has access to any of your work.

On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Enunciate the importance and the role of network protocols including why they are organised into protocol stacks and how protocol stacks function.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of IP addressing, routing and subnetting by for example computing routing outcomes and determining effective and actual IP addresses.
  • Differentiate among LAN components, and describe and, in particular instances calculate, how MAC addresses, address resolution (as implemented by protocols such as ARP) and the ethernet protocol interact.

Assignment 2

Due: Week 11
Weighting: 15%

The second assignment tests your understanding of selected networking technologies.

Late submission of the assignment will be accepted, but penalised at the rate of 15% per day late. If you cannot submit assignments on time because of illness or other circumstances, please apply for disruption of studies as soon as possible.

For all assignment work you are encouraged to:

  • set your personal deadline earlier than the actual one;  
  • keep backup of all important files;  
  • make sure that no one else has access to any of your work.

On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Be aware of different major network technologies including wireless, backbone, wide area networks, and the Internet and, being aware of their properties, be able to evaluate different network designs.
  • Be acutely aware of issues in, and have an ability to develop plans for dealing with, network security and management.

Module Exams

Due: Various
Weighting: 60%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

The module examinations ask students to answer conceptual questions about the course material as well as solve simple networking problems. Module exams are run in the first hour of the workshop in which the student is enrolled. Students may only attend module exams in workshops they are enrolled in. In the case a student cannot attend a module exam, a request for special consideration must be made. Five module examinations are each offerred up to three times during semester, the sixth module exam is offered twice during semester. The student's best mark for each module is used in their final mark. Students must demonstrate satisfactory performance in modules 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 to pass the course. Satisfactory performance is defined as getting 40% or more on at least one of the attempts made for that module. A student's final mark for a module is the maximum mark they achieved in any of the student's attempt for that module. The exam mark for each module is worth 10% of the final mark.


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Enunciate the importance and the role of network protocols including why they are organised into protocol stacks and how protocol stacks function.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of IP addressing, routing and subnetting by for example computing routing outcomes and determining effective and actual IP addresses.
  • Differentiate among LAN components, and describe and, in particular instances calculate, how MAC addresses, address resolution (as implemented by protocols such as ARP) and the ethernet protocol interact.
  • Be aware of different major network technologies including wireless, backbone, wide area networks, and the Internet and, being aware of their properties, be able to evaluate different network designs.
  • Be acutely aware of issues in, and have an ability to develop plans for dealing with, network security and management.

Delivery and Resources

Classes

Each week you should attend three hours of lectures, and a two hour practical workshop. For details of days, times and rooms consult the timetables webpage.

Note that practicals workshops (lab sessions) commence in week 2. The week-by-week details of the practical (lab) classes will be available from iLearn.

You should have selected both a Practical_1 and a Practical_2 at enrolment. You must attend the practicals that you are enrolled in.

Textbook and Reading Materials

The textbook for this semester is:

Additional reading that you may find useful for this unit:

  • Kurose, J. & Ross, K. Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach 7th edn, Pearson, 2016

    • Print:    ISBN 978-1-292-15359-9

    • E-Text: ISBN 978-1-292-15360-5

Web Resources

Unit Websites

Comp247 is administered via iLearn (http://ilearn.mq.edu.au/).

This unit outline can be found in the university's unit guides

Live Streaming

Digital recordings of lectures may be available. They will be linked from iLearn.

Technologies Used and Required

In this unit you will will be exposed to the following technology and tools:

  • HP networking equipment and the Comware network operating system.
  • Wireshark Packet Analyzer software.

General Notes

In this unit, you should do the following:

  • Attend lectures, take notes, ask questions.
  • Attend your weekly Practical session.
  • Ensure that you attend moule exams during the first hour of your practical session.
  • Read appropriate sections of the text, add to your notes and prepare questions for your lecturer/tutor.
  • Work on any assignments that have been released.

Lecture notes will be made available each week but these notes are intended as an outline of the lecture only and are not a substitute for your own notes or the recommended reading list.

Unit Schedule

Tentative teaching schedule, subject to change:

Week

Module Topic

Lecture Topic

Module Exam

Assignments

Reading

Workshop

Streams 1-11

Workshop

Streams 12-22

1

Networking Fundamentals (NF)

Unit Introduction and Network Foundations

 

 

Chapter 1

No Labs

No Labs

2

Networking Fundamentals (NF)

LAN

 

 

Chapter 7

Network OS and Command Line

Packet Capture with Wireshark

3

Internetworking and Applications (IA)

Network Layer

NF (30 min)

 

Chapter 5

Packet Capture with Wireshark

Network OS and Command Line

4

Internetworking and Applications (IA)

Transport and Application Layers

 

 

Chapters 2 & 5

IP Headers

IP Headers

5

Hardware Layers (HL)

Data-Link Layer

 

 

Chapter 4

Subnetting

Subnetting

6

Hardware Layers (HL)

Physical Layer

 

Assignment 1

Chapter 3

Switches, MAC, ARP

Transport and Application Layers

7

Campus Networks (CN)

Wireless Networks

NF,IA,HL (60 min)

 

Chapter 7

Transport and Application Layers

Switches, MAC, ARP

Mid Semester Break

 

 

 

 

 

8

Campus Networks (CN)

Backbone Networks

 

 

Chapter 8

Router Configuration

WiFi

9

Network Security (NS)

Security

IA,HL,CN (60 min)

 

Chapter 11

WiFi

Router Configuration

10

Network Security (NS)

Security

 

 

Chapter 11

Virtual LANs

Security

11

WANs and The Internet (WI)

Wide Area Networks

CN,NS (60 min)

Assignment 2

Chapter 9

Security

Virtual LANs

12

WANs and The Internet (WI)

The Internet

 

 

Chapter 10

TBD

TBD

13

 

Tying it all together

NS,WI (60 min)

 

 

Catch-up week

Catch-up week

Formal Exam Period

NF,IA,HL,CN,NS,WI (180 min)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Undergraduate students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/study/getting-started/student-conduct​

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Enunciate the importance and the role of network protocols including why they are organised into protocol stacks and how protocol stacks function.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of IP addressing, routing and subnetting by for example computing routing outcomes and determining effective and actual IP addresses.
  • Differentiate among LAN components, and describe and, in particular instances calculate, how MAC addresses, address resolution (as implemented by protocols such as ARP) and the ethernet protocol interact.
  • Be aware of different major network technologies including wireless, backbone, wide area networks, and the Internet and, being aware of their properties, be able to evaluate different network designs.
  • Demonstrate technical networking proficiency including demonstrated ability to configure, construct, and document, and in simple cases, design networks, as well as the ability to perform traffic analysis on local area networks.
  • Be acutely aware of issues in, and have an ability to develop plans for dealing with, network security and management.

Assessment tasks

  • Practical Workshops
  • Assignment 1
  • Assignment 2
  • Module Exams

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of IP addressing, routing and subnetting by for example computing routing outcomes and determining effective and actual IP addresses.
  • Differentiate among LAN components, and describe and, in particular instances calculate, how MAC addresses, address resolution (as implemented by protocols such as ARP) and the ethernet protocol interact.
  • Be aware of different major network technologies including wireless, backbone, wide area networks, and the Internet and, being aware of their properties, be able to evaluate different network designs.
  • Demonstrate technical networking proficiency including demonstrated ability to configure, construct, and document, and in simple cases, design networks, as well as the ability to perform traffic analysis on local area networks.
  • Be acutely aware of issues in, and have an ability to develop plans for dealing with, network security and management.

Assessment tasks

  • Practical Workshops
  • Assignment 1
  • Assignment 2
  • Module Exams

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Demonstrate technical networking proficiency including demonstrated ability to configure, construct, and document, and in simple cases, design networks, as well as the ability to perform traffic analysis on local area networks.

Assessment tasks

  • Practical Workshops
  • Assignment 1
  • Assignment 2
  • Module Exams

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Enunciate the importance and the role of network protocols including why they are organised into protocol stacks and how protocol stacks function.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of IP addressing, routing and subnetting by for example computing routing outcomes and determining effective and actual IP addresses.
  • Differentiate among LAN components, and describe and, in particular instances calculate, how MAC addresses, address resolution (as implemented by protocols such as ARP) and the ethernet protocol interact.
  • Be aware of different major network technologies including wireless, backbone, wide area networks, and the Internet and, being aware of their properties, be able to evaluate different network designs.
  • Demonstrate technical networking proficiency including demonstrated ability to configure, construct, and document, and in simple cases, design networks, as well as the ability to perform traffic analysis on local area networks.
  • Be acutely aware of issues in, and have an ability to develop plans for dealing with, network security and management.

Assessment tasks

  • Practical Workshops
  • Assignment 1
  • Assignment 2
  • Module Exams

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Be acutely aware of issues in, and have an ability to develop plans for dealing with, network security and management.

Assessment tasks

  • Practical Workshops
  • Assignment 2

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate technical networking proficiency including demonstrated ability to configure, construct, and document, and in simple cases, design networks, as well as the ability to perform traffic analysis on local area networks.
  • Be acutely aware of issues in, and have an ability to develop plans for dealing with, network security and management.

Assessment tasks

  • Practical Workshops
  • Assignment 2

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Enunciate the importance and the role of network protocols including why they are organised into protocol stacks and how protocol stacks function.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of IP addressing, routing and subnetting by for example computing routing outcomes and determining effective and actual IP addresses.
  • Differentiate among LAN components, and describe and, in particular instances calculate, how MAC addresses, address resolution (as implemented by protocols such as ARP) and the ethernet protocol interact.
  • Be aware of different major network technologies including wireless, backbone, wide area networks, and the Internet and, being aware of their properties, be able to evaluate different network designs.
  • Demonstrate technical networking proficiency including demonstrated ability to configure, construct, and document, and in simple cases, design networks, as well as the ability to perform traffic analysis on local area networks.
  • Be acutely aware of issues in, and have an ability to develop plans for dealing with, network security and management.

Assessment tasks

  • Practical Workshops
  • Assignment 1
  • Assignment 2
  • Module Exams

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Be acutely aware of issues in, and have an ability to develop plans for dealing with, network security and management.

Assessment tasks

  • Practical Workshops
  • Assignment 2
  • Module Exams

Changes from Previous Offering

Changes since Semester 1 2018

Weekly exercises have been removed and regular module exams will be offered in place of a written exam during the final exam period.

Changes since Semester 1 2017

During previous offerings all practical classes were completed in a specialist networking laboratory. As of 2017  we have reconstructed the practical work to include new material that also uses resources available in standard laboratories, and students will from week to week alternate between the normal computing laboratories and the specialist networking lab.  Many modern networking tools are now designed to run on standard computing equipment.

During 2017 the unit was run, unusually, with no hurdle assessments.  As of 2018 year the hurdles have been reinstated.

Grading

Grading

At the end of the semester, you will receive a grade that reflects your achievement in the unit

  • Fail (F): does not provide evidence of attainment of all learning outcomes. There is missing or partial or superficial or faulty understanding and application of the fundamental concepts in the field of study; and incomplete, confusing or lacking communication of ideas in ways that give little attention to the conventions of the discipline.
  • Pass (P): provides sufficient evidence of the achievement of learning outcomes. There is demonstration of understanding and application of fundamental concepts of the field of study; and communication of information and ideas adequately in terms of the conventions of the discipline. The learning attainment is considered satisfactory or adequate or competent or capable in relation to the specified outcomes.
  • Credit (Cr): provides evidence of learning that goes beyond replication of content knowledge or skills relevant to the learning outcomes. There is demonstration of substantial understanding of fundamental concepts in the field of study and the ability to apply these concepts in a variety of contexts; plus communication of ideas fluently and clearly in terms of the conventions of the discipline.
  • Distinction (D): provides evidence of integration and evaluation of critical ideas, principles and theories, distinctive insight and ability in applying relevant skills and concepts in relation to learning outcomes. There is demonstration of frequent originality in defining and analysing issues or problems and providing solutions; and the use of means of communication appropriate to the discipline and the audience.
  • High Distinction (HD): provides consistent evidence of deep and critical understanding in relation to the learning outcomes. There is substantial originality and insight in identifying, generating and communicating competing arguments, perspectives or problem solving approaches; critical evaluation of problems, their solutions and their implications; creativity in application.

In this unit, the final mark will be calculated by combining the marks for all assessment tasks according to the percentage weightings shown in the assessment summary. The module examination component in this unit is a hurdle requirement; you must get a mark of at least 40% in each of module exams 1 thorugh 5 inclusive in order to pass the unit. The practical classes are also a hurdle assessment, you will be required to perform to a satisfactory standard in at least eight of the practical classes to pass the unit.

Concretely, in order to pass the unit, you must obtain an overall total mark of 50% or higher, a mark of 40% or higher in the first five of the six module exams, and satisfactorily complete at least 8 out of the 12 practical exercises.

Students obtaining a higher grade than a pass in this unit will (in addition to the above)         

    • have a total mark of 85% or higher to obtain High Distinction;
    • have a total mark of 75% or higher to obtain Distinction;
    • have a total mark of 65% or higher  to obtain Credit.

Changes since First Published

Date Description
14/02/2019 ISBN numbers for both printed and e-book editions of the text added. Also, the publication date for the proscribed text has been corrected.